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Microsoft News Roundup: Surface Duo 2 update, new Dell XPS 13 laptops, and more

Surface Duo vs Surface Duo 2
(Image credit: Future)

Each week we cover the latest news in the world of Microsoft, Windows, gaming, and more. To wrap up the week and kick off the weekend, we round up all the biggest news stories in a single post. This week we saw the announcement of the Dell XPS 13 and 13 2-in-1, Windows 11 version 22H2 rolling out to more Insiders, and a major update for the Surface Duo 2.

We also reviewed several PCs, accessories, and games, including Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go 2.

Surface Duo 2 gets a major update

Surface Duo 2's enhanced Glance Bar.

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 picked up a significant update this week that included several new features. The phone's Glance Bar now supports third-party messaging apps, greatly enhancing its usefulness. The Slim Pen 2 can now receive firmware updates when paired with the Duo 2 as well.

The latest update for the foldable also improves battery health through a new setting that gradually charges the phone overnight.

Unfortunately, the update also removed a feature for the Surface Duo 2 and original Surface Duo. The foldables can no longer pair to the original Surface Pen. The pen can still be used to draw on and interact with the Duo and Duo 2, but its buttons don't work with them.

In related news, YouTuber Shane Craig answered some questions about the unofficial project to get Windows 11 running on the Surface Duo.

Dell announces XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 for 2022.

(Image credit: Dell)

Dell announced two new laptops this week, the XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1. While they don't feature as radical of a redesign as the XPS 13 Plus, both of Dell's new laptops are compact improvements over the previous generation.

"At first glance, it’d be easy to dismiss it as just another refresh with its famed CNC machined aluminum and glass chassis but with a newer processor slapped in and some new colors; however, that is severely underestimating the internal work Dell has done," said our executive editor Daniel Rubino.

The XPS 13 (9315) is the thinnest and lightest XPS 13 to date. It also runs on Intel's 12th Gen U-series processors.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 is a radical shift away from previous versions. Rather than a convertible clamshell laptop, it's a detachable device, much like the Surface Pro 8. In addition to a new form factor, the laptop gained 12th Gen Intel chips. It also features a 13-inch 3K display with HDR400.

Windows 11 version 22H2 now available through Release Preview Channel

Windows 11 Update Settings

(Image credit: Future)

Insiders in the Release Preview Channel can now grab Windows 11 version 22H2, which is the next major update to Microsoft's operating system. Both business and non-business Insiders can update their PCs.

Windows 11 version 22H2 includes several changes, the most notable of which are:

  • App folders in Start menu
  • Resizable pinned area in Start menu
  • Drag and Drop on the Taskbar
  • Focus Assist integration with Notification Center
  • New "spotlight" wallpaper feature
  • New Voice Access accessibility feature
  • New Live Captions accessibility feature
  • New gestures and animations for touch users
  • New snap layouts bar when moving app windows
  • New Task Manager app
  • Better OneDrive integration with File Explorer
  • Numerous UI improvements and consistency updates

Our senior editor Zac Bowden breaks down the new version of Windows 11 in more depth.

Head of HoloLens reportedly resigning

Alex Kipman presenting

(Image credit: Future)

Two weeks after a bombshell report by Insider about Microsoft's Alex Kipman, the HoloLens head is reportedly set to resign. Kipman was accused of effectively watching "VR porn" in front of employees and fostering "a culture that diminishes women’s contributions." There were claims of inappropriate touching as well. A report was also filed by over 25 employees that complained about his behavior.

While Microsoft has not commented on the allegations, Insiders' report stated that Kipman will leave the company. The Mixed Reality Hardware group will be put into the Windows & Devices organization under Executive Vice President and & Chief Product Officer Panos Panay. The Mixed Reality Presence and Collaboration group will be put into the Microsoft Teams organization.

GeekWire, which corroborated Insider's reporting, shared part of an internal email from Scott Guthrie, the head of Microsoft's Cloud & A.I. Group. “Over the last several months, Alex Kipman and I have been talking about the team’s path going forward. We have mutually decided that this is the right time for him to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.”

Apple announcements at WWDC

iPadOS Stage Manager

(Image credit: Apple)

While not strictly Microsoft news, Apple is a large enough company to warrant a look across the aisle. WWDC this week, including major hardware and software announcements. Our friends over at iMore covered the event in-depth, so we'll point you their way for comprehensive coverage.

The news arguably most related to Microsoft followers was the fact that iPadOS is gaining support for floating and resizable windows. The feature was alluring enough to convince me to commit to an iPad for my next productivity machine.

Our executive editor Daniel Rubino also highlighted that Apple may be copying Microsoft’s Surface strategy (again) with its rumored new 12- and 15-inch MacBooks

Review roundup

As we do every week, our experts shared their reviews of the latest pieces of hardware and software. Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go 2 takes top billing, but we reviewed several other items as well:

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.